The Void Video Interviews, The Void with Christina

Shane Embury (Napalm Death) Interview: Barney Greenway, Tape Trading & Mastodon Side Projects

Shane Embury of iconic grindcore band Napalm Death discusses his current side projects, the progression of the hotly anticipated next Napalm Death record, an unforgettable moment with Heaven and Hell/Black Sabbath legend Ronnie James Dio in Birmingham, his enduring relationship with Napalm Death vocalist Barney Greenway and the prot0-internet tape trading movement that spread extreme music around the globe in the Eighties and Nineties. “We’ve started recording some new stuff. Quite a lot of songs. It will come out in the new year (2018). It’s fast … and once it’s done it will go in a few different directions.  There’s a couple of mid-pace Killing Joke references,” Embury says of the latest Napalm Death recording sessions. “This will be the most diverse record yet,” he adds.

“Do you think an attitude of defiance is central to Napalm Death and to grindcore as a musical movement?” The Void’s Christina Rowatt asked Embury. “I think so. It’s also a part of your personality,”Embury muses. “When I was tape trading before I joined Napalm and formed the bands that we did, we liked the fact that we were into stuff that other people didn’t necessarily get. I came from a rock/heavy metal background, but I went further and further – and not all of my friends did. I’d get a kick out of the fact that they didn’t understand it, it was funny to me. Buzz (Osborne of the Melvins) always says he’s an anthropologist of music, and I like that term.”

The grindcore tape trading movement began in the Eighties and involved extreme music enthusiasts sending their favourite bands on tape around the world to a network of fellow music lovers, who helped bands like Napalm Death grow an audience organically, off the grid. “When it comes to tape trading and the extreme stuff, it would be Repulsion and Terrorizer [that meant most to me],” Embury explains. “It is probably fair to say that each country had their own band, and Napalm nipped in first, in some ways. We’d always pay homage to the band we loved. and we always mention them. Matt from Exhumed always said that he loved that we were never afraid to [mention] Repulsion or Terrorizer or Blood Duster of Australia. We liked what we liked and we’d tell people about it because our thing was spreading the word. Some bands are very uptight about it. They know where they’re nicking a bit of this from, but they’re not going to tell anybody who it is. We weren’t afraid to say we nicked a few riffs from Entombed. Napalm did the A side of “Scum before it became a proper album so I just sent it to everybody around the world, along with the drummer and a few other people as well. . So we were in part responsible for Napalm  reaching out. And in turn those bands who loved it reached out to us so we got Terrorizer demos. At any point i’d be getting records from Japan, South America, New York,” Embury said. “With regards to extreme bands, they do often come from small villages.”

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